Like any other complicated undertaking in life, the home buying process has conventions, protocols and a vocabulary all its own. If you take a little time to educate yourself about the home buying process at the beginning, you will be way ahead of the game. There are whole volumes on the home buying process that deal with many of the issues discussed on our website. You can find a lot of information elsewhere on the web as well. The Freddie Mac website, for example, offers a simple but useful description of the home buying process.
Home Buying is Local
While it may seem an obvious point, home buying is always local. How you approach it depends heavily on where you are buying and when. This discussion describes how the process typically plays out in our local Colorado housing markets. Remember that there are vast differences in real estate practices across the country.
These differences are a constant source of confusion to buyers moving from out of state. In some areas of the country, the law requires buyers and sellers to have attorneys represent them. In Colorado, attorneys often don’t play any role at all. Some areas don’t have multiple listing systems (MLS), the databases of homes for sale that are critical to how our markets function here.
Buyers who have purchased homes in other states are often more confused by the process here than if they had no understanding of real estate practices at all. Our Reference Library is designed to give you a firm foundation for working through the home buying process in our local area, which encompasses Boulder County, Broomfield County, Adams County, parts of Weld County and Jefferson County.
Educate Yourself About your Options
In many respects, the process of buying a home is like buying a car. First, you decide what you want in a home and then match this up with what you can afford. Then, you must decide between various financing options. In home buying, as in car buying, you’ll find that what you can afford will depend on the financing you are able to qualify for. Furthermore, in both cases, you are wise to have a professional inspection to insure you are making a smart purchase. And finally, you must know and follow the legally sanctioned means of recording and transferring legal title to the property.
A Higher Standard of Care
Home buyers will often spend 10-20 times as much on their home as they do on their car. But money isn’t the only consideration. Home buying decisions have a wide-ranging impact on all aspects of our lives. The home we buy, and where we buy it, will affect the social contacts we make and the way we spend our leisure time. It affects what schools our children go to and who their friends are.
The home we buy is one of the most important financial investments we make in our lifetimes. We think of cars in terms of how much they will cost over time. We think of homes in terms of their eventual value as an investment. For all of these reasons, you should educate yourself about the home buying process. It's wise to approach a home purchase with more knowledge, more assistance and more care than any other purchase you make.